Central African Republic: rebels clash with UN peacekeepers during weekend fighting

23 December 2014 | News and Media

Central African Republic, 22 December 2014 – The United Nations mission in the Central African Republic has said it is concerned about fighting that took place this weekend in several locations around the country, including between anti-Balaka members and peacekeepers.

MINUSCA, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (CAR), on patrol in the capital Bangui. UN Photo/Catianne Tijerina

MINUSCA, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (CAR), on patrol in the capital Bangui. UN Photo/Catianne Tijerina

“On Saturday, anti-Balaka elements clashed with peacekeepers in Berberati when MINUSCA troops were deployed to prevent anti-Balaka attacks in the area,” UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told a news conference in New York. He said one anti-Balaka member and one civilian were killed, and the Mission also recovered a number of weapons.

Peacekeepers serving with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA) were involved in another armed confrontation on Sunday in Nola. A peacekeeper and one civilian were slightly injured during the clash and four anti-Balaka members were apprehended and disarmed.

The Mission also reported fighting near Bambari on Saturday between anti-Balaka and the ex-Séléka branch of ‘General’ Ali Darass’ forces. Three ex-Séléka and four civilians were said to have died and four others were wounded.

Today, in Batangafo, the situation is tense, the Mission reports, after two ex-Séléka were killed by anti-Balaka members.

“The Mission is also closely monitoring the situation and addressing these issues both through political channels and providing security with its troops,” said Mr. Dujarric. “The Human Rights Division of the Mission will also deploy a mobile human rights unit to investigate further.”

Earlier this month, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous warned of a potentially explosive situation in the CAR amid continuing violent clashes between the mainly Muslim Séléka alliance and anti-Balaka militia, which are mostly Christian.